Large arena room adjacent to the phallus room.

Strange Phallic Pillars at Karahan Tepe

Karahan Tepe, the second highlight of the Megalithomania tour, is the sister site to Gobekli Tepe, having similar T-shaped pillars and circular enclosures. Additionally, it features a room with mushroom or phallic shaped pillars. It’s not quite ready for prime time visitors as we had to drive on some unmarked roads to get here, but there is a visitor center with drinks and restrooms.

Sun, Sep 11: Karahan Tepe, Sanliurfa, Turkey

karahan tepe structure AB and AD.
Phallic Pillars at Karahan Tepe in Şanlıurfa, Türkiye

How old is Karahan Tepe?

And, is Karahan Tepe older than Gobekli Tepe?
Karahan Tepe is about 11,400 years old. The site is still being excavated and studied which may reveal a more precise age in the future. At the moment, Gobekli Tepe is older than Karahan Tepe, but there were periods where they were both in use at the same time.

Is Karahan Tepe better than Göbekli Tepe?

One of the benefits of Karahan Tepe compared to Gobekli Tepe is that it is less developed as a destination. That means you can get closer and at times touch some of the features and artifacts. For example, you can freely walk up to and inspect the unfinished t-shaped pillar as well as the unexcavated t-shaped pillars sticking out of the ground.

That said, they both have their pros and cons, and they are so close together, you’ll want to see them both.

The unfinished T-shaped Pillar at Karahan Tepe

Much like the Unfinished Obelisk at Aswan Quarry in Egypt, Karahan Tepe has it’s own unfinished T-shaped Pillar. This one however is not cracked, and there isn’t an obvious defect. Perhaps it was a case of pillar envy, and this one was abandoned after it fell short of expectations. It’s located in rear part of the site and is very crudely cut and shaped.

A bunch of megalithomaniacs and the Unfinished T-Pillar at Karahan Tepe.
A bunch of Megalithomaniacs and the Unfinished T-shaped Pillar at Karahan Tepe.

These are the people who have joined the Megalithomania Ancient Turkey Tour with me. Find your spot at the Megalithomania Tour and Events page.

The bearded head with a serpent’s body at Karahan Tepe

Carved into the wall of Structure AB, the stone phallus room is a human head, which appears to have a beard and a snake-like body that extends toward the right, parallel to the ground.

The person looks like they are wearing some sort of helmet, and the lips are full like an ancient Mr. Bill. The top of the head is flat and level with the 11 penis-pillars, suggesting that there may have been a roof / floor atop these supports.

karahan tepe bearded head and serpent body
Carving of bearded human head with serpent body at Karahan Tepe.

One of the more interesting findings by Hugh Newman and J.J. Ainsworth about the Karahan Tepe head, is that it becomes illuminated during the winter solstice. The sun shines through the portal to Structure AD and lights up the face.

More photos of Karahan Tepe

If you came here because you were curious about the Karahan Tepe Penis Room, may we tempt you into seeing the phallus of the Cerne Giant in England?

Additional Karahan Tepe Videos

If you want to learn more about this ancient site of Karahan Tepe, the Megalithomania UK YouTube channel contains a wealth of videos.

Have you already been to Karahan Tepe, or want to visit there? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Part of the Megalithomania UK Gobekli Tepe & Karahan Tepe Turkey Tour

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